It took “The Voice” coach Gwen Stefani about seven seconds to turn her chair around so she could see the woman belting out a pitch-perfect rendition of the country standard “Blue.”
In that moment Stefani came face-to-face with Casi Joy of Nashville, a 26-year-old native of Smithville, Mo., who, according to her website, has performed since the age of 5.
Joy auditioned for the show with the song made famous in 1996 by a teenage LeAnn Rimes — with the distinctive yodeling and all.
“We’ve got a yodeler!” declared E! after Joy’s performance.
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Before Joy could finish the song all four of the show’s celebrity coaches — Stefani, Alicia Keys, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine — decided they want to coach her on the talent competition.
It’s up to Joy now. Her audition will be shown - it was leaked earlier this week - and she will choose one of the coaches to work with on Thursday night’s episode. The show airs at 7 p.m. on NBC.
Fans back home are worked up. The Smithville School District will host a watch party beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of the high school, where Joy graduated in 2008.
People who know her from her days playing soccer at Smithville and running track at Park University are wishing her well all over social media.
Sports fans have heard her sing the National Anthem at Royals and Chiefs games.
According to her YouTube profile she plays guitar and piano, and has a dance background. She’s spent a lot of time around country music, opening for Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Chris Cagle and Dustin Lynch.
Her debut single, “Old Town Lane,” was country. But she told “The Voice” judges she’s willing to work in any genre.
Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5, wants to work with Joy so badly he walked off the stage at the thought that she might not pick him.
“I would do cartwheels to have you on my team. I would literally try to leap over the moon and back for you,” he told her. “And by the way, the yodeling, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.
“But I have been beaten down so many times by hearing a voice like yours, which clearly is rooted down in that traditional country thing, so I’m not going to get my hopes up because I am too exhausted.”
He got out of his chair and walked off stage, pouting.
“I just need to be left alone right now!” he yelled before returning.
Keys encouraged Joy to “shock” the world by choosing her, but also made the pitch that Joy should work with her or Stefani, “the two newer, fresher, more exciting women.”
Shelton seemed particularly impressed by Joy’s yodeling.
“What you did to this room and all four of us coaches is the same thing that happened when LeAnn Rimes came out with that song,” he told her.
“Somebody yodels? The fact that you have already mastered that .... I am not giving up until Casi is on my team because this is meant to freakin’ be.”